Monday, January 31, 2005

Everything's Archie

Nostalgia Corner #1 (Or, How I Frittered Away My Childhood)

Boys find themselves fascinated with all kinds of wonderful and idiotic pastimes, from collecting baseball cards to working on cars. For me, there was no greater thrill than walking to the local 7-11 once a week to pick up the latest Archie comic books.

I am not saying that girls devoted themselves to more worthwhile pursuits. Who knows what they did? Learned how to cook? Played with dolls? Knitted and sewed? I have no idea. If you're a woman, please enlighten me. But I do know the kind of things that boys got up to, and I know I wasn't the only kid who spent a truly alarming chunk of his time lost in a cartoon universe that featured Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle, Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper. They were my friends, all of them born 20 years before me, in the pages of Pep Comics #22. My years of readership were most likely in the late 1960s to early 1970s, when the innumerable titles were still gaining in readership: Everything's Archie, Betty & Veronica, Laugh, Pep, Reggie & Me, Jughead, Archie's Pals & Gals, and so on. The comics were about a quarter apiece, and they were extremely addictive. I had a large chest in my room where I kept my comics, which are all back to being part of the soil by now.

But as I have already underscored in this blog, the Internet comes to the rescue once again as I attempt to glue the broken pieces of my adolescence back together again. In an eBay auction that ended on Jan. 17, I found myself the winner of more than 125 different Archie comics originally published in the early 1970s. Take a look:



They arrived via UPS on Friday, so I've had a couple of days to page through many of them and feel the nostalgic rush. There's nothing quite like reacquainting yourself with the lost innocence of childhood.

I'll admit it's odd that at this stage of my life, I would willingly devote hours to doing something I already did in my early teens. But I'll forgive myself, because with the passing of years, I have forgotten a lot of Archie's exploits with his "pals and gals," to say nothing of spinoff buddies like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie & the Pussycats. I will allow myself to enjoy my childhood again. Yes, there are books on my shelf that I want to read. Worthy books. Books I haven't already read. But you know what?

They're simply going to have to wait their turn.




Did you read comic books? What were your teenage pastimes?

11 comments:

dUgE k said...

Brett,

Nice score on the Archie comic books on e-Bay. I used to own many of them myself. In fact, the issue shown in your photo where the girls are on the beach looks mighty familiar.

In addition to Archie comics, Wacky Pack Stickers were a big part of my early infatuation with collecting. These were paraody take-offs of brand name products in convenient sticker form. Very Mad Magazine-like in their humor. For example, Wonder Bread became Blunder Bread, Ajax became Ajerks, etc...

Speaking of recapturing childhood memories, I picked up the brand new DVD complete series set of Sid & Marty Krofft's LIDSVILLE yesterday! Starring Butch Patrick, Charles Nelson Reilly, and a bevie of little people, Lidsville was the 1971 follow-up to H.R. Puff N' Stuff. Only seventeen shows in the entire series!

The opening of Lidsville is one of my earliest childhood memories. Butch Patrick is in an amusement park, riding the rides, and having lot's of fun. He then goes inside a theatre and watches a magician with a magic hat (Charles Nelson Reilly). After the show, Butch sneaks into the magician's dressing room, where the hat grows into a GIANT hat! Butch falls into it and plunges down, down, down into the magic world of Lidsville!

Everyone in Lidsville is a living hat (portrayed by little people in elaborate foam rubber outfits), except for Hoo Doo The Evil Magician (Charles Nelson Reilly), his talking rabbit henchman (Sharon Baird), and Weenie The Geenie (Billie Hayes). Hoo Doo is a scary and cruel guy who torments the hats, Weenie, and now Butch Patrick!

Butch spends the entire seventeen episodes trying to gety out of Lidsville and back home to the world he came from.

Lidsville Baby!!!

Melissa said...

I used to buy Archie comic s as a little girl all the time. In fact I still pick them up from time to time. But indeed, great score!

And Lidsvillewas also one of my earliest TV experiences as well. I have a few on tape, but not the entire series. I gotta go hunt that down!

dUgE k said...

Hi Melissa,

Yeah, the Lidsville box is widely available. I suggest picking it up at Best Buy for $29.99. It's $10 cheaper there than where I foolishly bought it (Tower Records).

dUgE

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